The Monsters of Templeton by Lauren Groff - Book Review

What can a person say about a book given the gold seal stamp of approval by Stephen King? In what manner will this review add to the mass of hype surrounding such notice?

Is, "I really liked it" enough?

There’s the wayward grad student, returned home pregnant and humiliated. There’s the once flower child, now maturing mother, gone Christian. There’s the nice hometown boy willing to pick up the pieces. There’s a dying friend and an odd assortment of townsfolk. All in all, a nice tidy little group of characters. However, it’s when the dead relatives speak and the monster washes ashore that we begin to see this story as something other than standard. We begin to see why King passed out the gold star.

The Monsters of Templetonis a good story, propelled along by the protagonists desire to trace her roots while deciding the fate of her unborn "lump." There’s a sense of urgency, of a puzzle needing solved. While we ponder these fates, the world ponders the possibility of the monster and the townsfolk ponder its loss.

My only qualms are some editing issues, times when less might have been more. The chapter transitioning takes a bit of getting used to; but once acclimated, the reader begins to anticipate each new chapter, searching for a new long dead voice to compliment the family roots that are as entangled as any Peyton Place.

Ms. Groff saves the best of her skills for the final chapter, the voice of the monster. That chapter alone deserves a nod from the literary gods. Once all the little loose ends have been tied neatly (and not too contrived either) we find hope that something that was lost can be found anew.

Buy The Monsters of Templeton HERE

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Anonymous said...

Excellent point, as a reader I cannot think of too many times where the voice transitions so magnificently to an animal.


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